'I could have died' says Apple Watch-wearing doctor who took a hard fall

in General Discussion
Dr. Thomas Ficho shared a story of how his Apple Watch automatically contacted emergency services after a home improvement mishap with the device's Fall Detection feature.

Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5

Fico was wearing his Apple Watch while he power-washed his house. At some point he tried to use the cover on the basement's window well as a step to reach higher.

The cover moved, and he plummeted five feet into the basement's emergency exit.

"I was laying on the bottom of this, kind of curled up," he said. "My right side hurt a lot."

Fico said he could climb out by himself after three minutes. There, he was greeted by a local police officer, who asked if he was okay or needed a paramedic.

He said no, and asked how the officer knew what had happened. The officer pointed to the Apple Watch on Fico's wrist. Apple's Fall Detection feature summoned help.

"I was really surprised," Ficho said. "I didn't put it together immediately that my watch was going to do that."

"I could have died down there," Ficho told NBC, "but my watch called 911."

Dr. Ficho was already familiar with some Apple Watch features, as he used the device with his patients to monitor their vitals using the ECG app or the Blood Oxygen app. Even before the incident, he recommended an Apple Watch for all his patients over age 60.

How to use Fall Detection

Apple introduced Fall Detection with the Apple Watch Series 4 in 2018, and is only available for users age 18 or older.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on an iPhone.

  2. Tap the My Watch tab, then choose Emergency SOS.

  3. Turn Fall Detection on or off. If turned on, users can select Always On or only on during workouts.

Apple automatically turns Fall Detection on for users aged 55 and older. Users can enter their age in the iPhone's Health app by tapping on the Summary tab, going to their profile in the upper-right corner, then tapping on Health Details.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 4
    >>> Fico was wearing his Apple Watch while he power-washed his house. <<<

    I’d call this a perfect Fico Score… for Apple👍!
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Michail said:
    >>> Fico was wearing his Apple Watch while he power-washed his house. <<<

    I’d call this a perfect Fico Score… for Apple👍!
    You stole my thunder!
  • Reply 3 of 4
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    We’re building a house using ICF (insulated concrete forms) and are doing a lot of the ICF work ourselves (though the actual concrete work, internal
    framing, electrical, plumbing, etc is all contracted out).  

    This past Spring my son and I were attaching some 2x4 to a self-constructed corner piece as bracing. I had an extension ladder up against the basement level and was screwing in the screws to hold the 2x4 and due to the narrow gap of the space between the basement ICF and the wall of the foundation hole, the angle of the ladder to the wall was not as great as it should have been.  I was about 9’ up when the ladder slid sideways and down and I with it.  I fell hard onto the rocky ground, and the ladder kind of on top of me.  The fall set off the fall detection on my Apple Watch.

    I was sore and bruised but otherwise OK and was able to have enough wits to cancel the emergency services (911 — US)  call.  I was OK but if I had hit my head or something on the fall, and my son hadn’t been there, it was comforting to know that someone would have come due to the call from the watch/phone.  (My Apple Watch is not a cellular one so would have called using my iPhone)

    Needless  to say that fall ended that day’s work.  
  • Reply 4 of 4
    Needs an editor. His name is Ficho, but it's misspelled as Fico twice.
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